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Re: renames under CVS

From: Noel Yap
Subject: Re: renames under CVS
Date: Tue, 26 Feb 2002 06:43:29 -0800 (PST)

--- "Greg A. Woods" <address@hidden> wrote:
> [ On Sunday, February 24, 2002 at 20:13:51 (-0800),
> Noel Yap wrote: ]
> > Greg, your experience is not the norm.  Most
> > developers, possibly sadly, aren't familiar with
> the
> > whole gamut of available commands.
> It damn well better be "the norm" -- it's no better
> or worse than anyone
> else's experience!

So, I ask again, have you ever worked in a corporate
environment and how long did it last?  If you haven't,
then you certainly do have sampling error in your

Since I have worked with open-source products and
within a corporate environment, I definitely can say
that the norm in one is not the norm in the other as
others on this list have confirmed.

I would appreciate it if you would perform some
statistically valid tests before making false

> Any so-called developer who is not familiar enough
> with the tools used
> daily to do his or her job is not really a
> developer.

And so it is written, and so it is said.  Those that
don't know the tools used daily shall no longer be
called a developer.

>  Some idiot might
> pay such a person to be a developer, but that
> doesn't make them a
> developer in the real world -- only in the
> imaginations of the employer
> and the employee.

I don't know about you, but I don't define the "real
world" to comprise of magnitudes less that 50%.  Most
of those who do development do not know all the tools
whether you call them developers or not.  There are
those of us who deal with these issues (via education
and other means), but there are those who shy and hide
away from them.

> The tools I refer to are very plainly documented in
> the CVS manual and
> the CVS unix-style manual page.  Even a simple skim
> through the manual
> page for GNU diff (the diff used with CVS, though
> unfortunately it's not
> shipped with CVS) will also reference the manual
> page for 'ed' and
> 'patch', and gives quite strong hints at how to use
> these tools to
> mechanically re-apply changes with them.  Anyone
> claiming to be a
> developer but not able to figure this out on their
> own really needs to
> be smacked with something a lot harder than a
> clue-by-4!

Then the documentation is wrong.  One does not perform
merges with diff, ed, and patch (unless one wants to
reinvent diff3).

> I'm certain even a non-developer can figure enough
> of this out to ask
> for help.

Which causes overhead each time they ask.  It's much
easier on everyone if the tool handled this.

> I don't even have the time of day for any idiot who
> can neither figure
> this out nor ask for help.

Many (most?) of us don't have this luxury.  Yes, we
choose our environments and our tools, but, as you can
certainly attest, it's much easier to change a tool
than to change a mind set.

> > Furthermore, to do a proper merge, one needs three
> > files.  I think patch is incomplete since all the
> > information between the ancestor revision and the
> > current file is completely lost.
> You're on strange drugs again my friend.  The patch
> input file will only
> be incomplete if you fail to generate it properly.

How do you generate it properly?

> >  One of the first
> > lines in the output of "man patch" hints at this: 
> > 
> >     patch - apply a diff file to an original
> Uh hug.  Diff and diff3 produce "diff files".  Patch
> takes the output of
> diff _or_ diff3 as input.

I've been using ed to apply diff3 output.  You learn
something new every day.  Thanks.

So we just have to get CVS itself to do this instead
of relying on the developer.  After all, it already
does it when there is no rename.

> > Since, when merging, one doesn't apply a diff file
> to
> > _the original_, patch isn't really the ideal tool
> to
> > do it.
> Well, first off, it seems you've got to learn a wee
> bit more about how
> 'diff' and 'patch' work conceptually before you'll
> realise that "to an
> original" does not mean what you think it means. 

So the documentation is wrong.  Must I now start
questioning definitions of every common, everyday

> Every newbie may
> suffer the same mis-interpretation, but I'm not sure
> that means the
> phrase is wrong in the context it is in.

Pardon me, but I don't consider myself to be a newbie
(unless you consider a newbie someone who still has
stuff to learn).

> >  One could use diff3, but if that were true,
> > why couldn't CVS do it itself?
> Huh?  CVS does use diff3 to produce diff output. 
> You can use diff3
> manually too.  It's terriblly easy to do.  Most
> humans can easily manage
> up to seven items in their short-term memory --
> diff3 only needs three
> (four if you count the command name itself).

Great!  So if CVS applied the diff3 and patch under
renaming conditions, too, there'd be no more threads
about this topic.

> Do _you_ not know how this stuff all fits together
> yet?  I thought you
> were worthy of being called a developer!

I thought I was, too.  I'll have to change my title to
"Software Maker", now :-)


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